by Arthur Miller
When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.
The Crucible is peopled with historical figures – Deputy Governor Danforth, John and Elizabeth Proctor, the Reverends Parris and Hale, Abigail Williams, Rebecca Nurse, etc. – but Arthur Miller took liberty to create a fictional story based on historical events. We don’t know, for example, why in real life Abigail Williams accused Elizabeth but not John Proctor. Miller has used his imagination to explain one possibility, but in doing so he had to change certain facts – such as raising Abigail’s age from 11 to 17 years old. While the names refer to real historical people, it’s also important to remember that The Crucible itself is fiction.